Free «Chapter Summaries: Leadership and Organizations» Essay Sample

Chapter Summaries: Leadership and Organizations

Chapter 9

Leaders demonstrate traits allowing to command their followers. These include the desire to lead, intelligence, self-confidence, a drive, and ultimately, and certain skills in technical areas relevant to the organization’s operations. Some leaders perform routine functions in the organizations whereas others only guide the organizations in realizing transformations. Whichever the case, functions carried out by leaders are indispensable. A good understanding of what constitutes good leadership is beneficial to those aspiring to become leaders, their followers and subordinates. It is also important to note that hostile or tense organizational settings can prevent leaders from exercising effective leadership (Greenwald, 2008). Q: How do you think the organizational settings influence a leader’s capacity to show leadership?

Chapter 10

Communication challenges are common within organizational contexts. Notably, organizational characteristics are more important than the capabilities of individuals as communicators. Essentially, an ideal configuration of structure and roles within an organization is an important factor in promoting decision-making and high-quality communication. Regarding the types of communication, verbal communication, which entails the use of numbers and words, is clearly advantageous over other forms of communication. Written and oral communication are subtypes of verbal communication. On the other hand, non-verbal communication occurs through gestures and expressions. Communication, both verbal and non-verbal, is a critical element in an organization as it allows for smooth running of functions and operations (Greenwald, 2008). Q: What do you think are the factors that hinder effective communication in organizations?

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Chapter 11

Stability of organizations is usually challenged by politics, conflicts, and change. Interestingly, irrespective of the fact that these three aspects interrupt the normal functioning of organizations, they are still a natural part of processes in formal organizations. They are also interconnected so that each can moderate or aggravate one or two of the others. It is also worth noting that as long as they occur in moderation, politics, conflicts, and change pose to the organizations challenges that, for instance, make those involved aware of the different alternatives to a situation. Notwithstanding, conflict-related stress negatively impacts the quality of life in many organizations (Greenwald, 2008). Q: Can you identify ways in which politics, change, and conflict are interconnected with one another?

Chapter 12

Whereas many people perceive bureaucracy as localized within government institutions, the concept is actually common outside government and in most large corporations. Bureaucracies are also widely believed to be a bad thing as people working for them are considered to be deprived of incentives for excellence and creativity. Interestingly, bureaucracy has been evidenced to be the future’s organization. It is widely agreed that bureaucracy is characterized by undesirable features but still the most suitable for the large-scale operations relied upon by the modern society. Notably, the factors that characterize roles in bureaucracies include universalism, neutrality, specificity, and achievement. The organizations are also highly rationalized in that the resources and activities are closely connected to enable the achievement of the set objectives (Greenwald, 2008). Q: Apart from the unwillingness by the people working for them to deliver quality services, why do you think bureaucracies are perceived by many as a bad thing?

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Chapter 13

It is generally agreed that most organizations can do better in meeting the needs of their members and achieving the set objectives. In this view, people have for long looked for solutions to the challenges that face organizations. Innovations are some of the tools used in achieving this purpose; they are designed to create a balance between the organization and individuals’ needs. On their part, experiments are usually conducted in an effort to identify what would work best for both people and organizations. On a similar note, a number of theories have been brought forward to explain the behavior of people within organizations.  Examples are Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory and McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y (Greenwald, 2008). Q: What do you think are the measures that organizations can take to make their members feel satisfied with the way they are treated in relation to the organization’s goals and objectives?

Chapter 14

Organizations should provide their individual members with a platform to fully develop their potential and attain personal goals. Unfortunately, formal organizations usually do contrary to this reducing the choice, freedom, and opportunity of individuals to pursue their personal aims. Notwithstanding, such organizations are unable to exercise absolute control over their members. In fact, even reward, punishment, or the organizational structure as a whole are not able to make the members behave according to the expectations of the management. Nonetheless, the capacity of an individual to survive and grow in an organizational context depends upon his or her understanding of the manner in which that organization functions. This is opposed to just believing what one is told regarding the organization (Greenwald, 2008). Q: How do you think the understanding of the organization helps an individual in realizing his or her goals and potential?

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Chapter 15

Usually, strategies taken and decisions made by organizations for internal purposes have insignificant societal importance. This is the case especially for local government agencies or small businesses. However, over time, repeated actions and decisions taken by organizations of all sizes and types can have an important impact on society. Similarly, a single action by a large organization irrespective of whether it is for internal or external purposes can yield a major societal impact. For this reason, organizations, especially bigger ones, strive to influence those social environment aspects that are significant to their goals. Such an action is referred to as environmental management. However, influencing the social environment to the organization’s favor is often not an easy undertaking (Greenwald, 2008). Q: Do you think the government should make effort to prevent organizations from influencing the social environment in their favor?